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5 1 4 the chicago american giants

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Lexile,® and Reading Recovery™ are provided
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The Chicago

American Giants

Genre

Expository
nonfiction

Comprehension
Skills and Strategy

• Sequence of Events
• Generalize
• Ask Questions

Text Features







Captions
Map
Time Line
Glossary

Scott Foresman Reading Street 5.1.4

ISBN 0-328-13511-9

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by Ellen B. Cutler


Reader Response
The Chicago

1. Using a graphic organizer like the one below, place
the following sequence of events in the correct order:
Rube Foster and others form the Negro National
League; Professional African American teams begin
forming; Jackie Robinson plays his first game as
a Brooklyn Dodger; The Baseball Hall of Fame is
established; The Eastern Colored League is formed.

American Giants

2. Pretend that you by
are Ellen
on a field
trip to the Baseball
B. Cutler
Hall of Fame. What questions about the Negro leagues
would you have for the people who run the museum?

3. Three of this book’s vocabulary words are compound
words, or words made up of two smaller words. Which
ones are they? Use them in sentences.
4. How did the time line on pages 18 and 19 help you
to understand both the history of baseball and the
history of African Americans playing the sport?

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Every effort has been made to secure permission and provide appropriate credit for
photographic material. The publisher deeply regrets any omission and pledges to
correct errors called to its attention in subsequent editions.
Unless otherwise acknowledged, all photographs are the property of Scott Foresman,
a division of Pearson Education.
Photo locators denoted as follows: Top (T), Center (C), Bottom (B), Left (L), Right (R),
Background (Bkgd)
Opener: Getty Images; 1 National Baseball Hall of Fame; 3 Corbis; 4 Corbis; 5 Corbis;
6 National Baseball Hall of Fame; 7 National Baseball Hall of Fame; 8 National Baseball
Hall of Fame; 9 National Baseball Hall of Fame; 10 National Baseball Hall of Fame;
11 (L) National Baseball Hall of Fame, (R) National Baseball Hall of Fame; 13 (Bkgd)
National Baseball Hall of Fame, (C) Corbis; 14 Getty Images; 15 Corbis; 16 Corbis; 17
Associated Press, Getty Images; 18 National Baseball Hall of Fame
ISBN: 0-328-13511-9
Copyright © Pearson Education, Inc.
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2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 V0G1 14 13 12 11 10 09 08 07 06 05

“Batter up!”
A player from the Chicago American Giants
stepped to the plate. He was ready to take a pitch.
His hands were wrapped around the narrow neck of
the bat. His feet were planted apart and firm on the
ground. He fixed his eyes on the pitcher. Behind him,
the catcher gave the sign for a fastball.
The crowd settled into the rickety stands made
from old boards. A few voices could be heard over
the creaking of seats. They were mocking the visitors
and yelling words of praise to their hometown team.

3


“Strike ‘em out!” they called to the pitcher. “That
batter can’t hit the broad side of a barn!”
The Giants talked quietly among themselves. They
paid no attention to the words coming from the
stands. They weren’t worried. The man they called
“Home Run” was at bat.

4

The pitcher began his windup. His arms came in.
His knee rose up. The ball whipped toward home
plate in a straight line.
WHACK!
The batter drove the fastball high into the sky. It
fell to the ground beyond the bases. It rolled into
the deep grass at the edge of the outfield.

5


Before 1947 barnstorming was a way of life for
most African American players. Barnstorming is
traveling from one small town to another. It could be
a hard life. Good barnstorming teams attracted large
crowds however. Teams such as the Indianapolis
ABCs, New York’s Lincoln Giants, and the Hildale
Daisies from Darby, Pennsylvania, were well-known
barnstormers. Their opponents included college
teams, amateurs, and other barnstormers.
Rube Foster and the Chicago American Giants

The first season for the Chicago
American Giants started in 1911.
The Giants’ manager was Andrew
“Rube” Foster. He had played baseball
for more than twenty years. He was a
pitcher famous for his screwball. It was
a tricky pitch that was hard for batters
to hit. At seventeen Foster had joined
a Texas team called the Waco Yellow
Jackets.

6

7


Rube Foster knew a lot about the game. He
had a good head for business. Most of all, he
had confidence in the future of African American
baseball. Foster and a group of team owners and
managers created the Negro National League (NNL)
in 1920. The owners and managers decided that
Rube Foster would be the league’s first president.
This father of Negro baseball was named to the
Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981.

The Chicago American Giants became one of the
best teams in the NNL. They barnstormed America in
a private railroad car. They were stars in the African
American community. African American newspapers
were filled with stories about them. Their home field
was a five-thousand-seat park on Chicago’s south
side.

8

9


Foster had put
together a great team for
the 1911 season. It was
hard to spot a weakness
at any of the positions. A
few of the team members
were among the best
players in baseball.
Grant “Home Run”
Johnson had played under
Foster before. He played
in the infield when Foster
managed the Philadelphia
Giants. He worked at both
shortstop and second
base.
Home Run was a hitter
who could blast the ball
over the fence. This is
how he got his nickname.
He was well liked by the
other players. He had
been a baseball star for
nearly thirty years when
he finally retired.

Willie Foster was Rube Foster’s half-brother. He
was also a star pitcher for the Chicago American
Giants for more than a decade. Foster helped the Giants
win the Colored World Series in 1926 and 1927. He
is considered by many to have been the best lefthanded pitcher to ever play in the Negro leagues.
After retiring, Willie Foster became a coach at
Alcorn State College. He was elected to the Baseball
Hall of Fame in 1996.

Willie Foster

Home Run Johnson

10

11


Pop Lloyd

One of the greatest players to ever take the field
for the Chicago American Giants was John Henry
“Pop” Lloyd. In his later years, Lloyd became a team
manager. He was able to give young players a feeling
of confidence.
Pop Lloyd started out as a catcher. Later he played
shortstop and then first base. Lloyd was tall, thin, and
fast. He ran so smoothly that people were tricked.
They thought he was was not running very fast, but
he was! Pop Lloyd played baseball for at least twelve
different teams. He was asked why he changed teams
so often. He said, “Where the money was, that’s
where I played.”
Lloyd was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame
in 1977. Some people have called him the greatest
baseball player of all time.

12

13


Other African American baseball leagues were
founded throughout the 1920s and 1930s. The
leading teams from different African American
leagues met for World Series championships. During
the 1930s there were East-West All-Star Games as
well. In the winter months many of the players
traveled south to play baseball. They went to Mexico,
Cuba, and the Dominican Republic.

Year after year, the Chicago American Giants were
one of the best teams of the Negro leagues. They
won titles in 1920, 1921, and 1922. In 1926 and 1927
they won the Colored World Series.
After the end of the NNL in 1931, the Chicago
American Giants played for the Negro Southern
League. Then they played for the Negro American
League. Over the years the Giants changed their
name. They remained one of the greatest teams in
the Negro leagues. In 1952 the American Giants, as
they were called at that time, played their last game.
Center fielder Art Pennington, left fielder Herman Andrews,
and third baseman Alex Radcliffe of the Chicago American Giants.

Cuba
Mexico
Dominican Republic

14

15


The game of baseball provides a unique look into
American culture. The integration of baseball was a
symbol for the changes in American society.
From 1887 until 1947, African Americans and
whites played baseball on separate teams and in
separate leagues. Then Jackie Robinson was brought
in from the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro
American League to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Other major league teams were later integrated.
The Negro National League that Rube Foster
helped found in 1920 closed its doors in 1931. The
Negro American League, begun in 1937, played its
final games in 1960.

Cool Papa Bell (left) and Josh Gibson (right), were
among the first Negro league players inducted to
the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Brooklyn Dodgers’ signing of Jackie Robinson (shown with
Bob Morgan) began the integration of major league baseball.

16

Nine former players from the Negro leagues
and early African American teams were elected to
the Baseball Hall of Fame during the 1970s. This
was done in order to recognize these great men in
baseball. Since then, many other African Americans
have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
17


African Americans and Baseball in America
1820s and 1830s: A game
similar to baseball develops
in America, gaining
widespread popularity.

1845: The Knickerbocker
Club of New York publishes
the first set of rules for the
game of baseball.

1862: The Union Grounds,
the first fully enclosed
baseball park, is built in
Brooklyn, New York.

1820

1871: The first professional
league, the National
Association of Professional
Baseball Players, is formed.

1870

1880s: Professional African
American teams begin
forming.

1885: New York’s Cuban
Giants become the first
African American baseball
players to receive salaries.

1887: The International
League bans teams with
white players from signing
contracts with African
American players.
1900

1911: Rube Foster forms
the Chicago American
Giants with partner John
Schorling.

1920: Rube Foster and
others form the Negro
National League (NNL).

1923: The Eastern Colored
League (ECL) is founded.

1870

1907: Pitcher Andrew
“Rube” Foster begins a
career as a player/manager
with the Leland Giants.
1900

1924: The NNL and ECL play
their first World Series.

1924

18

1869: The first professional
team, the Cincinnati Red
Stockings, is formed.

1924

1936: The Baseball Hall of
Fame is established.

1947: Jackie Robinson plays
his first game as a Brooklyn
Dodger on April 15.

1960: The Negro American
League, the last of the
Negro leagues, ends.
1960

19


Glossary
confidence n. firm belief
in yourself.
fastball n. pitch thrown at
a high speed.
mocking v. laughing at;
making fun of.
outfield n. the part of a
baseball field beyond the
diamond or infield.

Reader Response
unique adj. having no like
or equal; being the only
one of its kind.
weakness n. a weak
point; slight fault.
windup n. a swinging
movement of the arms
while twisting the body
just before pitching the
ball.

1. Using a graphic organizer like the one below, place
the following sequence of events in the correct order:
Rube Foster and others form the Negro National
League; Professional African American teams begin
forming; Jackie Robinson plays his first game as
a Brooklyn Dodger; The Baseball Hall of Fame is
established; The Eastern Colored League is formed.

2. Pretend that you are on a field trip to the Baseball
Hall of Fame. What questions about the Negro leagues
would you have for the people who run the museum?
3. Three of this book’s vocabulary words are compound
words, or words made up of two smaller words. Which
ones are they? Use them in sentences.
4. How did the time line on pages 18 and 19 help you
to understand both the history of baseball and the
history of African Americans playing the sport?

20



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